The Irish Times - 10.01.2008

Bekele to face Zersenay Tadesse in Edinburgh on Saturday 12th January

Bekele and Tadesse face off at the BUPA Great Edinburgh International
Cross Country

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Athletics: Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele will bid to land a record sixth IAAF World Cross Country Championship title in Edinburgh on March 30th.

The Olympic and world 10,000 metres champion was expected to achieve the record in Mombasa last year and opened up a lengthy gap in the opening
stages of the race.

But he dramatically slowed and eventually dropped out because of the intense heat and humidity at the Kenyan venue.

Bekele suffered after effects for several weeks following the race but bounced back in the summer to win a third successive world 10,000m gold
medal, defeating Eritrean Zersenay Tadese, who had claimed victory in

Bekele, who has been back in intensive training since returning from his honeymoon, is determined to better the five titles of Kenyan pair John
Ngugi and Paul Tergat when he races in Edinburg

"I will definitely be competing at the world cross country in Edinburgh this year," said Bekele. "I was deeply disappointed at what happened in Mombasa and I am determined to get the title back.

"Winning for a sixth time means very much to me and I feel the conditions in Edinburgh will suit me much more than they did last year."

His decision to compete has delighted the International Association of Athletics Federations, who believe Bekele's presence is very important to the prestige of the championships.

"This is fantastic news. Despite his age, he's already one of the world's greatest-ever distance runners," said Nick Davies, IAAF communications director.

Bekele will also be in Edinburgh on Saturday to defend the BUPA Great Edinburgh international cross country title he has won for the last two years.

He will face Tadese and 2005 champion Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya when he bids to make it a hat-trick of Edinburgh titles at Holyrood House in what is his only cross-country race this winter.

He is scheduled to compete over 3000m in Valencia on March 9th and then over two miles at the Birmingham Grand Prix on February 16th.

The BUPA Great Edinburgh International Cross Country - Event